It’s easy to spend a lot of time thinking about things that have gone wrong.
Although we can all learn from mistakes, it’s not helpful to spend a lot time thinking about negative things. This can lead to worry and stress.
Try this exercise to get yourself into the habit of thinking more positively about things that have gone well and why.
People who do this positive thinking exercise say they feel happier, less worried and less sad.
- Each day for the next week, give yourself 10-15 minutes before you go to sleep to write down three things that went well and why. This could be something as simple as ‘My son gave me a nice smile this morning’. Or it might be a major event – for example, ‘I booked our family holiday’.
- Underneath each thing that went well, write what you did to make it happen. For example, if you put ‘My son gave me a nice smile today’, you could write, ‘I smiled and he smiled back’.
- It might feel odd to do this at first, but it gets easier with practice. Try to give it a go for a week. Check your notes at the end of the week.
- Share this exercise with family and friends.
You can do this exercise with your children, helping them think about things that have gone well for them. For example, your younger child might have built a Lego creation that he really likes. Your older or teenage child might have finished a tricky assignment or helped out with some extra family chores. Older children and teenagers can try doing this exercise by themselves.